Exclusive: “Telling China To Take Our Booster,” Adar Poonawalla Tells


The Serum Institute of India is working to market two of its key vaccines for Covid – CovoVax and CoviShield – in China, which is seeing a resurgence of the epidemic. “It’s very important for the world to get back to its supply chain issues and investments… (so) it’s good for the world that China recovers from this,” SII chief Adar Ponnawala told  in an exclusive interview today.

“We are trying to engage with China and ask them to put aside their political differences, problems and fears. And accept some of their Western vaccines as boosters,” he said.

Asked about China’s response, he said, “I think they are deciding which way they want to go… I just hope they make a decision quickly”.

Indian health experts have blamed a cocktail of viruses for the new outbreak that started in China last year. In an interview with last year, NK Arora, head of the centre’s Covid panel. Most of them have received three to four doses.”

Mr Poonawala told  that CovoVax is proven and works well against Omicron. Its response is even two or three times higher than Covishield – one of the two vaccines first introduced in India and many other countries.

The new vaccine, Mr Poonawala said, will cost around ₹ 200-300 and will soon be available on the Centre’s CoWin app.

SII, Mr. Poonawalla said, has also submitted data on its malaria vaccine to the World Health Organization. He said the vaccine has been shown to be effective in more than 77 percent of cases and they hope to launch it in Africa by the end of the year.

India’s largest manufacturer of vaccines, SII is also working on a vaccine for dengue, which is in phase 2-3 clinical trials. The vaccine given in three doses could be ready in two years, he added.

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